Wine Enthusiast 90
"A gorgeous, full-flavored Riesling with aromas driven by stone fruit, mineral notes, wet rock,
citrus, and floral. It’s taut on the palate but with beautiful focus and lingering notes of honeysuckle and crushed rock."
This Riesling was the last fruit in the door (not just for us, but for everyone we know
across the state), though it still had wonderful chemistries. At 22.5 Brix, it retained nice
bright acidity despite the heat. Upon arrival, we gently pressed the grapes then allowed
the juice to settle out for 48 hours at 40°. After clean racking off the heavy lees, we
treated it to remove tannins picked up in the pressing, while still retaining a full midpalate.
The juice was then separated into two lots so that each could be fermented with
a different yeast strain. Both tanks were then cold-fermented to extend the fermentation.
When the wine reached a balanced RS to acid level, the fermentation was stopped. The
result is a gorgeous, full-flavored Riesling with aromas driven by honeysuckle, linden,
spice, citrus-lime, apricot, white peach, slate, and great minerality. It’s taut on the palate
but with beautifully focused fruit. pH – 3.05, TA – 7.5g/L, RS – 1.3%, Alc – 12%. 15,000
This Riesling is 100% from grapes grown on the Art Den Hoed vineyard, right on the
outside edge of the Rattlesnake Hills AVA, in the Yakima Valley. Aside from Art’s great
farming, what makes this vineyard special for world-class Riesling is the gently sloping,
high elevation (1,250 feet) and shallow, well-drained Warden Series silt loam soils.
The higher elevation maintains a mountain climate with much more moderate summer
Charles Smith’s long-time friend, label muse, and artist, Rikke Korff, made this decidedly
lo-fi label for us. We wanted to project a distinctly Northwest feel and illustrate the
incredible diversity of the physical features of Washington State, from sea to mountains.
A collaboration founded in 2008 between Wine Enthusiast Magazine 2014 Winemaker of
the year, Charles Smith (K Vintners, Charles Smith Wines) and Charles Bieler (Three
Thieves, BIELER Pere et Fils & Gotham Project). We make just four wines together. The
Rosé, a Cabernet Sauvignon blend, a Chardonnay, and this single vineyard Riesling.
Charles & CharlesView all from Charles & Charles
THE PROJECT: A collaboration founded in 2008 between Food & Wine Magazine 2009 Winemaker of the year, Charles Smith (K Vintners, Charles Smith Wines) and Charles Bieler (Bieler Pere et Fils). The label is an abstract play on the American Flag done by the well loved and historic Nashville, TN poster shop, Hatch Show Print.
Charles Bieler and Charles Smith have teamed up on a delicious offering. Their collaboration--aptly named Charles and Charles--has yielded a single vineyard dry rosé and a red blend from the Wahluke Slope of Washington State.
Bieler has been making rosé in Provence, France with his family since 1992 and was one of the early champions of the category in the US. "In the late 90's it was only top tier shops that would carry any rosé at all," says Bieler, "and it took serious explanation to convince people that in fact not all pink wine was sweet. Now, every good restaurant and retailer loads up on at least a few for the warmer months. We've come a long way, baby."